INTERVIEW: Krewella (2013 – Get Wet)
After two massive EPs (Play Hard and Play Harder), the trio Krewella are set to unleash their debut album Get Wet. Formed in 2007 with two sisters (Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf) and producer Rain Man, their EPs and tracks “Killin It,” “Come & Get It,” and “Alive” have all become massive club records spanning the genres of electro, drum & bass, and dubstep. The crossover appeal of “Alive” brought them to the top 40 of the pop chart, somewhere that you don’t normally see authentic electronic dance music artists. I chatted with Krewella at the Promo Only Summer Sessions where they were the unofficial headliners (and biggest buzz act) of the night. Their closing performance blew everyone’s minds. Be sure to catch the Krew on tour as their live experience is unlike any other EDM artist out there.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: What should we expect from Get Wet?
Jahan: You are going to have a song for every emotion. There’s a sad song, happy song, club song, rage song, and songs that makes you feel like you’re united with everyone else on the dance floor. It is very a high energy and emotional album.
Kris: From a songwriting and production standpoint we have matured a lot since Play Hard. We have worked on our craft so much since then that the production and the writing is so much better lyrically, melodically, and thematically. I am really excited about it.
Yasmine: We definitely experimented with some new genres so we are excited to see how everyone takes it. Everyone is our guinea pig, so we’ll see.
RS: What do you mean by different genres?
Yasmine: We experimented with the song “Ring Of Fire,” that has a carnival house feeling to it, and we upped the BPM and decided to do 144 on the floor. For “Dancing With The Devil” we have some features that are rock features so with that we experimented with juxtaposing rock and dance in one song.
RS: I can’t wait to find out who those features are, is it a secret?
Yasmine: It is not a secret anymore, one is Patrick Stumpf and one is Travis Barker and they are on the same song together.
RS: Awesome. Are there any other special guests on the album?
Yasmine: We did a song with Pegboard Nerds who are very talented; they are on the up-and-up for sure.
RS: Did the Benny Benassi track make the album?
Yasmine: No, that’s in the works.
Kris: It didn’t make it; I am hoping that we are going to put it out on album 2.
RS: You did the track “Legacy” with Nicky Romero, how did that happen?
Jahan: He actually found one of our songs that was never an official release. It was a vocal edit that we did of a Skrillex song. He DM’d me about it and asked if we did the writing for it and that he loved it and wanted to do something together. I told him to send over an instrumental and he sent the instrumental for “Legacy” and told me that he hadn’t found a writer that had written something that was suitable for the track. The first thing that Yasmine and I came up with, he loved, he didn’t have any questions about the writing at all and we decided to move forward from there and recorded the final vocals. It just came out recently and we are also shooting a music video with Nicky as well.
RS: Nice. Hardwell did a great mix of “Alive”, have you guys thought about doing a track with him since that went so well?
Kris: He is so huge right now and he is so busy since he has tracks with everybody. We have some songs with awesomely huge and idolic to us house people right now and if he wanted to do an original we would definitely say yes.
RS: What was it like filming the video for “”Live for the Night”?
Jahan: We have an amazing support system at Columbia who really helped us organize the video. We have gone from making our own videos, like “Killin’ It” two years ago where we were outside freezing, running back and forth from the car and warming up our hands to sing our verses. It was wonderful to have the support system at Columbia Records honor the treatment that Yasmine and I came up with for the video. We had our own director and had them organize this whole thing and had all of our own real fans come and celebrate with us. We got it all on tape!
RS: That’s awesome. Going back to your live performances, are you now doing live vocals in your sets?
Yasmine: Yes, on the fall tour.
RS: How is it going from a DJ set to a live vocal set?
Yasmine: We’ve definitely had to work out a lot of kinks because no one has ever done it and it is a new territory for us. We have been doing DJ sets for the last 2 years, so it is hard to suddenly incorporate vocals and make them sound good. You don’t want to just hop on the mic and start singing and have it sound unbalanced and the mix sound shitty. We have had to really focus on making it sound just as good as when you are listening to the track on headphones in your room, we want to make it sound that good. We have spent a lot of time on it and we have our all in-ear monitors set up and have been rehearsing like crazy, the tour is going to be really amazing.
RS: This tour is also a lot bigger and you have opening acts, did you choose Seven Lions and Candyland?
Jahan: Yes, we did choose them. We handpicked both of them, they are amazing.
RS: Are you excited about going in to bigger stadiums and bigger cities?
Yasmine: Yeah, definitely. We have major markets on the tour like Chicago, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles but we are also really excited about hitting those smaller cities that we haven’t even touched yet, especially in the Midwest.
RS: Where do you want to go that you have not been yet?
Jahan: Besides Ibiza, somewhere overseas in Asia because we have only been to South Korea and Hong Kong.
Kris: There are so many cities that we have missed here in the states and I am sure that there are people out there that want to hear our music, even if its only kids – we want to play for them.
Yasmine: Like Wyoming, we’ve never been to Wyoming.
RS: After “Live For The Night,” what do you think the next single will be?
Yasmine: I think we pretty much know what it is going to be but we can’t drop the name, it will be here in a few months though.
RS: W&W remixed “Live For The Night,” what did you think about the mix when you heard it?
Jahan: We love it and we play it out. We are extremely selective about the music that we play and when we play something out, you know it’s great.
RS: This may be a sensitive question, so you can choose not to answer it. After I posted the last interview, I got an eMail from a reader telling me to check out a video on of you performing “Go Hard,” which was a notably different style of music from what you are doing now. You were in shiny outfits and it was very pop-oriented.
Yasmine: We have been a group since 2007 and we have dabbled in so many different genres within dance, pop, even down south beats and trap beats that we wrote rap/swag to. I think that it is really important as an artist to find yourself and try out different things before you decide to settle on a genre or a sound. That was during a time that we were growing and figuring ourselves out, but you have to try and fail just to see.
Kris: That’s what I was going to say. As an upcoming artist when people ask us how we succeed, we say to do your best and do the biggest thing that you can and work with people on ideas. We have had different ideas and we never released that video, the director put the music video out and for us, it wasn’t music for us – we weren’t ready for it. When we were ready to put music out, we put out “Strobelights,” and that is what Krewella is. We experimented with so many things and everything before “Strobelights” was trial and error.
Yasmine: We never actually released that song or video, it was a total leak.
Jahan: You have to make shitty videos and play shitty shows before you get to where you want to be.
Kris: It was all good times though.
Jahan: You don’t get put in a stadium with ten thousand kids in front of you, that is just not how you debut as an artist.
RS: That was a brilliant response. What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Jahan: Thank you so much for the love and support.
Kris: Seriously, thank you so much; I would still be in my grandma’s basement if it weren’t for our fans. Thank you to everyone who downloads and listens to our music and watches our videos, you all are incredible!
Yasmine: The dates are starting to sell out so I know that these kids are coming to see us and we can’t wait to see all of them on tour. I am so excited because I know the show is going to be insane and we are going to give it our all.
Check out our first interview with Krewella here!
Interview conducted during Promo Only Summer Sessions – August 2013. Special thanks to Fly Life, MSO and Columbia Records for arranging this interview.